How we Sell has changed so much since I started in the motor trade,
I remember every Monday getting the newspaper adverts ready for print, some weeks we’d even be cocky and advertise a few cars with “Sold” instead of a price, just to show how cool we were!
Nowadays of course its online, but online car sales hasn’t been around for that long, the first thing I remember doing online via a website was watching the twin towers fall on skynews.com that’s only 15 years ago, I also remember the first car I sold from a website it was two years later, an Audi A4 to a guy from Wexford, I met him on the side of the road in the lay by the Sligo side of the Mullingar bypass, it was revolutionary to say the least!
Back then of course it was a pain in the ass putting cars up online, we used to make the Junior sales guy do it as it wasn’t that important, we had about 200 cars in stock (Martin Reilly’s) and maybe 20 online, but we had really flashy newspaper adverts with the difference that Reilly’s actually paid extra to have the advert in colour. My second month in Reilly’s I sold 13 Punto’s off our advert which read “Fiat Punto’s €25 per week” I’ve still yet to see anything that generated as much showroom traffic as that in one weekend, the town of Sligo was polluted with Punto's left right & centre!
Online is the only place to be now, and a cringe when I see a message to ring back a newspaper who have a “Motoring Supplement” the following month, two years after opening Kevin Egan Cars one of these newspaper rep’s called around and told me “I think your stupid not advertising with us, think of all the local business you’re missing out on”, my response wasb “Why, have people in Sligo no internet? ”.
I now have one guy employed 39 hours a week, solely to populate cars on our website, we didn’t even print business cards for Shaun but he’s our first & most important salesperson. We all know a good salesman & a bad salesman, well good & bad pictures are just the same. Having him here all week allows him to concentrate on our shop window, making sure every attention to detail is up to date and accurate from clear pictures & videos to spec & mileage on the car. We’ve recently spent €6000 on our shed to make it look brighter, we’ve put in a wooden floor and suspended ceiling it sounds mad, but I bet it will sell us more cars!
All the initial hard work of course needs to be backed up by competent sales people and in Mark, Cathal & myself we have just that, I’m sure we let a few deals slip through our fingers but I believe we are well equipped staff wise to capture as many deals as we can, only expanding the team now I feel will gain us more sales.
Reputation and repeat business is a big thing for us now too, our customers are now ready to change again and if we’ve treated them right we’ll have that opportunity to go again, our reputation is growing too off course, people know the service we offer, we supply good quality used cars, offer a two-year warranty and are a company which isn’t new anymore, where people before might of been apprehensive and wondered whether we would still be around this time next year to honour our warranties!
Selling can also start long before the person thinks they’re going to change their car, how you conduct your self on a daily basis in public, in sports with family & friends will always help you sell more cars,
Always remember, people buy off people.
Good manners & politeness goes a long way. In a restaurant always be nice to the staff, tip well & be courteous - service industry staff buy cars too, and more importantly so do their family, friends & customers.
Maybe not that day, but some day. If you're ignorant, they'll go elsewhere without even thinking about you. Always give yourself an opportunity just to be put in the frame, remember you can’t sell to everyone but just having an opportunity is better than nothing at all.
Playing football, 3 years ago we used to win some games & draw and loose a few more. Coming off a football pitch, it would be the usual handshake and but it was followed nearly every game by one opposition player “Hey, I was on your website and I seen a car.” My first year running the team we finished mid table and Mark and I sold 6 cars on the pitch.
Being polite here also helps if a goal keeper makes a good save acknowledge it, if a good goal is scored by opposing player, tell him it was! It goes a long way and it’s the small things people remember, we’ve won the league the last few years now (unfortunately) and winning comes at a price, instead of buying cars off me now they just want to kick me around the pitch!
Remember what I said “People buy off people”, Kevin Egan Cars is a unique a place, it’s relaxed, we’re down to earth people and we show that we appreciate your business, we’re not thinking of selling you a car today, we’re thinking of doing a good a job now so you remain our customer for life.
Sell yourself and build relationships and the rest will follow suit.